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Washington Journal

News/Business. Live morning call-in program with government officials, political leaders, and journalists. (Stereo)

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United States 27, Washington 19, Us 17, Colette Matzzie 9, U.s. 7, Emily Ethridge 7, Rick Santorum 6, Iran 6, America 5, Obama 5, Syria 5, California 4, Johnson 4, New York 3, Scott Wilson 3, Maryland 3, Florida 3, China 3, Pfizer 2, The Ku 2,
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  CSPAN    Washington Journal    News/Business. Live morning call-in program with  
   government officials, political leaders, and journalists. (Stereo)  

    December 2, 2013
    7:45 - 10:01am EST  

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the ku klux klan or the grand wizard. the ku klux klan or the grand wizard. host: you're talking about what you're hearing coming out of congress. what you want to hear in the last couple weeks of the legislative session? white house bureau chief scott wilson joined us to talk about the affordable care act and other issues that are affecting president obama's credibility and his legacy. later we will continue our later we will continue our health care discussion with cq roll call reporter emily etheredge. we will be right back.
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>> social media is an old idea. long and rich tradition and social media that goes back to the era of cicero, the late roman republic's in the first century bc. you don't need a digital network to do social media. if you have one it goes faster, but you can do it in the old days. cicero did it with the pyrus yrus rolls.th pap there have been many other
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examples that have occurred throughout history. martin luther and his use of pamphlets. tom payne and his pamphlet common sense. the way the pamphlets were used more broadly in the run-up to the french and american revolution. first 2000 years of social media tonight on c-span two. >> vice president ford was sworn in as president of the united states. this is the dress that mrs. ford was wearing at the swearing-in ceremony. she was less than excited about becoming first lady, but president ford encouraged her, saying we can do this. she resolved that if i'm going to have to do this, i'm going to have fun doing it. the fund for her started almost immediately. within 10 days she had a state dinner to entertain king hussein of jordan and it was something she had to prepare for in her role as first lady lady.
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she hit the ground running. >> first lady betty ford tonight spanine eastern live on c- and c-span three. also on c-span radio and c- span.org. >> "washington journal" we will spendt: the next 45 minutes looking inside the white house with white house bureau chief scott wilson. i want to give sense of what the mood is inside the white house right now amid this criticism on the rollout of the affordable care act and some of these polls we have talked about this they're showing the president hitting new lows on measures of job approval.
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what is it like to work inside the white house right now? guest: the mood has been pretty grim. out there but the president's job approval at 40 point one
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percent, disapproval at 55.6% heard you can see a chart here showing the president's job approval since the beginning of his presidency, that black line his approval rating, the red being his disapproval rating. i want to ask you, does a president pay tension to these numbers, these tracking polls that are out there? your college had a piece yesterday that said president obama favors a long game over the 24/7 chatter culture that so often dominates politics of washington. does he pay attention to this? guest: she does. he certainly pays attention to approval ratings, especially given that a lot of his governing philosophy and the political leverage he believes he has comes from public support. rally thehe hands to public outside the beltway at
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times and he is trying to pass key legislation. it is why organizing for action exists. every time enthusiasm goes down he believes his political power goes down. one of the biggest concerns he is now watching these approval ratings is that in contrast to the last time they were this low , which was the end of 2011 of 2011 after the first debt ceiling showdown, there were very few opportunities for him to regain ground. the last time was followed by a whole election year. this time you don't have a moment like that. is going to be a lot harder for him to dig out of a hole like this. even with three more years to go? at what point does the public and washington d.c. just start looking ahead to the next president? quickly, given our
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media environment for one. it is pretty easy to write off a lame-duck president. highlighted another obstacle is facing in trying to dig out of -- perceptions are set. increasingly the closer we get to 2016 there are going to be -- they are going to be more and more fixed. is the biggest challenge the white house faces. tot: if you want to talk legacy -- about obama's legacy and how he's doing with these issues, specifically healthcare.gov, some of the criticism he has received, give us a call.
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guest: with the national security agency's eavesdropping ask posers your car he was saying here is not aware that the united states is eavesdropping on the german chancellor's personal cell phone. obviously the glitches to the health care website is another that he has acknowledged he was not prepared for. on their own, these may seem relatively minor, but added up you get the perception of a white house and a management team there that is trying to do a lot of different things at the same time and not
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speaking for the american people. he wasn't speaking for insurance companies. this does make him a liar.
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i just want to talk about legacy. it can be before he leaves office or after. is going to rule obama and hillary. they were trying to protect votes through consistent lives using various people as spokespeople and also, the perception they did not need -- they were so successful in we do not have to increase security. the second issue, another 15 seconds and i'm done. the of audible care at is nothing more than a trojan horse
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, the getting reparations for slavery and the sins of the past. the conscience of white guilt all through wealth and redistribution. thank you and have a great day. >> if you want to pick up on some of the issues he brought up? >> benghazi will be a big issue for hillary clinton in particular if she runs for president. correctly thist was a country of libya the united states and benghazi in , that the united states put its military resources into to try to help and for it to turn around so quickly and become a place where an american ambassador and three others were killed, it has to be seen as a row problem for the administration and the secretary -- state of the time,
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hillary clinton. i do something she will have to explain repeatedly if she runs for office. >> this issue of legacy rights on twitter. -- >> i think it is fair. what has begins to look at its own legacy. the president begins to look ahead and count years and months. what does he most want to be remembered for by the time he leaves office? mind in the white house particular. i think oscar race is a good point. you cannot sum up his legacy yet, certainly. to be is important mindful of the way the presidency, his remaining time in office, and what he most wants to achieve their it >> your colleague in his piece from yesterday talking about this exact subject, talks about what the president would cite for what has kept him from advancing
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these goals he sought to advance. the president would cite public obstructionism as the principal cause. that is a significant factor in all his legislative dealings. is the issue of obstructionism going to be a part of this legacy as well, at least how the white house has tried to portray? >> it will be an important part. historians will assess that and see if it was a big part of what the president was and was not able to achieve. in particular, it is the amount of time and political energy spent around the fiscal issues in particular. the debt ceiling standoffs, i thinknt shutdown, those are, obviously, symbolic, the lack of the white house and gretchen mole ability to get together and solve problems. it will be a big hard. also, this conjure -- this congress will go down as the
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inst productive in history terms of passing legislation. john boehner said that is fine and the primary focus is on in feeding. in their own republican words, that is a big part of what they hope is their legacy. arkansas on our line. >> good morning. the one thing i was wondering about on this insurance or farther under countries that for citizens to buy insurance, and if they do, is there -- are they american insurance companies and banks? the banks bought up a lot of insurance companies before this went into effect. >> we are spending 45 minutes on
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the subject of affordable care wilson, ifut scott there's anything you want to say on that subject? >> there are other countries that have government programs --t ensure their citizens insure their citizens. >> we have been talking about the president has his legacy and some of these issues he has faced. one issue rick santorum brought up yesterday on cnn's state of union is the issue of whether president obama is competent enough and whether the public sees him as competent in the wake of all of these issues. here is a bit of what rick santorum had to say. this feeds into the president's confidence. --t is the question and
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people have. obama is front and center with what is going on in the middle east. another area. the whole group of issues now people are questioning. talked too anybody, i some people in the insurance industry this morning. they told me most of the front may be looking good and people can go on and get responses but the information is still garbage. not decipherable. it is requiring them on a case- by-case basis to have somebody ms.ecause there is information, husbands labeled as lives, all sorts of problem's with the data coming to the insurance company. you and you may have signed up, becausemay not have, the insurance company may not of had the data to put you in the should -- but you in the system. >> we talked about trustworthy
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numbers. how do you measure the competent of the president. >> it is caught up with the trustworthiness figure. president obama has made such an issue of his administration's confidence. he called his predecessors in competent in not so many words. he came into office and it knowledged recently he is -- he is not very ideological. that is debatable, but the confidence of getting things done is going to be what he wanted to be known for. what rick santorum is talking about is true. carebackend of the health- system, we will have to wait and see. there is a lot of data data still coming out of it. aboutses basic questions his management style, who he is listening to, is it time for people, and his attention to implementing policies he has worked hard to present. that is clearly where his
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interest lies. not in the day-to-day functioning of government, but in the policies and politics. >> we showed our viewers rick santorum. whether people trust the president, here is a bit of what he had to say. >> is has been a tough patch. not just health care. the shutdown affected everybody. let's fast-forward. health care working better, people signing up, hopefully no washington shutdowns. i think the president's numbers will recover and confidence will recover. we need to push congress to do smart things to help the economy. american people are talking about all these issues except what is important to me, my job and income. that is what washington needs to focus on. american people are screaming, focus on what is important to us. picturepaint a bright
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on the horizon for the white in terms of how things could go. how do you see that? >> we can try to turn this , is working, are people getting insurance, are people aying yes? thee are scenarios where country starts saying, ok, it was a bumpy start but it will get better. the economy is improving. at the same time, you have a series of fiscal debates coming up between the president and congress and those have not gone well. the president and his team see those as opportunities again to sharpen the difference between what he is trying to do for the country and what republicans and their words are impeding. that may be an opportunity for obama some approval ratings,
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perception of competence among the public there it it is a rosy scenario and there is a lot between now and then that has to get fixed. the white house will have to rebrand in a way. >> you talk about sharpening the difference between the white house. it is the president and administration having any real relationships and friendships with members of congress e >> not many third president obama will set his former partner in illinois as an ally. nancy pelosi, they think highly of. harry reid, they think highly of. i would not call them personal friendships. it is a fairly shallow relationship in general between the white house and even democratic leaders in congress. >> we are taking your calls and comments. we will go to minnesota on our line for democrats.
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caller: thank you very much. there is only one thing i can say about what has been said this morning. it is nonsense. if this man were to run for office tomorrow, he would be elected, ok? what this man is saying on tv today has been very negative. how you got your job is beyond me. >> let's not attack our guest. their. you can smile it is really funny, but our president is the best president and we have had obstructionists and everything he has done in the middle east, that is more than i can say for a lot of the republicans. we would have been at work.
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says if the president were to run today if there were an election today, he could win. do you think that is possible? guest: it is possible. he is still popular. i think murray is crystallizing a lot of the frustration out there. if you are dealing with an howructionist congress, much can the president actually do? it is clear he is trying. has proposed a number of initiatives and is working hard in the middle east. there are peace talks going on. thanks to his administration. and secretary of state kerry. i think what the frustration ist she clearly feels prevalent among democrats in particular and among many independents who would like the government just to work at her.
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and see it more of a republican problem than a president obama problem. >> the obama legacy -- a question on twitter, is obama's -- guest: trade agreements are always difficult. raises questions among democrats . in particular, environmental reasons, workplace reasons, asia is known where workplace extent -- workplace standards are low. he will have selling to do among democrats. -- itves a trade partner is a trade policy that will open up a lot and the administration has placed a lot of emphasis on asia.focusing on it is an important part of the president's is economic jet -- agenda.
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class kathy in virginia. good morning. you are on with scott wilson. >> good morning. my question is, our country has paid over $300 billion for a website that does not work. not one word has been spoken to adjust our money being returned? anytime i have bought a product that did not work, i demanded a refund. how could this much money be gone with nobody demanding any money in return? wethe very least, i feel deserve a breakdown of where the money went. i do not disagree with the accountability of the money and it would be in the public interest to know how it was spent and why it was missed then. it is hard to say why we're not i thinkmoney back area sureis important is making what has been spent is
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eventually turned into something working correctly. that is what is being done, and it remains to see how effective the repairs will be. >> we played a clip earlier of rick santorum talking about the fix is needed for the website, creating a competence issue for the white house. how does the white house keep the confidence issue from bleeding over to immigration or into the iran talks to other policy areas it is looking to move ahead on in the next couple of months and years? immigration, the encouraging the congress to take it, it juston, pass begins to sound like the same thing. when you have a weaker president, you are much less inclined to support what he is asking you to do.
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the white house position has oh is been the republicans have to see it as in their own best interest to make things right with a growing hispanic electorate, that they did very poorly the it -- poorly with in the last election. on iran, it is even more pressing. what the president is asking for to get a realths agreement with iran to reduce its capacity to enrich iranian. the credibility problem is not so much right now, although he is facing questions about it with congress in particular. in six months right now, what really concerns supporters of the president, what he -- would he be willing if iran has not agreed to dismantle the program, to end this process and reimpose sanctions to take a step toward more footing with iran? a president who has low approval ratings, low credibility ratings right now, more than half the
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country does not believe he is honest. it will be a hard sell to say to bear with me for longer than it is for a strong president who has a lot of credibility. >> we write an article earlier this morning noting the white house has put out a full-court rest to get congress to hold off on new sanctions on iran. how successful do you think the infforts will be in between time? >> it will be challenging, in particular with rising concern among democrats. traceable to the president posses credibility problem. those are democrats who would normally give the president more time, policy as sensitive as his disposal -- diplomacy with iran has been. he has the power to veto legislation. if it is attached to a pentagon will be morethat
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problematic. defense authorization will be difficult to veto. it veto is out there, but if is not a standalone sanctions bill, they will have a lot of work to do to convince congress and, democrats, not to join. >> rachel is waiting from california on our line. thank you for getting up this morning and joining us. >> thank you for taking my call. the only place i really get my news is press tv. i am an independent now. i used to be a diehard but my priorities have changed seeing as how the country has changed foreign policy. i thought at least obama, even though i voted third party after ron paul and after what republicans did to ron paul, the convention was totally disgusting, i left the party -- the their priority
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neocons took over republican party, which is a jewish obama is still being andby the nose by netanyahu they run our congress and it is horrible. >> who do you think are the big ,nfluencers on this white house outside the political realm? rachel's point, they are in strong opposition with obama on the iran deal. whether or not in six months ago, where obama is on that deal, will in some ways reveal how much pressure is being from some pro-israel groups and the israeli government. governs in an insular way.
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that is a phrase used a lot. his own counsel. he listens to a small group of people. he pays attention to the democratic base. he has been raising a lot of money for midterm elections, which makes him responsive quite a bit to democratic concerns. he pays careful attention to israel and its government and powerful allies here. a lot of that has to do with his own ideology. i am not sure the influences over stated. or bigger an outsized. at the same time, it is an important part of the way things about iran. >> up next, good morning. >> i have been on this phone for
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almost 15 or 20 minutes waiting for you to quit commentating. andybody else gets up there let's everybody speak, but you keep commentating. what i need to say is the reason why there is so much turmoil in these are is because republicans and white folks who ro, a that obama is a neg black person, and black people are israelites from israel. do you think it is a racial issue? why people do not like black people. i do not know why the white folks are so scared. he will not do nothing for us. he needs to pass just like you all do. that is all i've got to say. if you want to talk about
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racial politics right now with this white house. has --this white house president obama has walked a pretty fine line between being the first african-american president of this country, and a president for all americans, which is what he has said he is. he is often asked by the congressional black caucus, by african-american supporters, fore is your agenda african-american communities in the country, where is your urban policy, where is helping black people. he said his pulses are supposed to help all people. the economy is a central issue and improving it improves everybody's lives. a frustrationis never quite resolved, even though he is extremely popular in general among african- americans, between what he is doing specifically for those
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communities, whether gun control, economic opportunities, in urban america, college of world -- affordability, those are issues he has had to think about. i think there has been fear on his part to be too closely identified as the first lack president. it is still frightening to people in the country. >> red rock oklahoma on our line with republicans. good morning. thank you for taking my call. i just wanted to say i think obama will be the worst president we ever had. he is worthless. his affordable care act is a joke, like so many have said. as downsizing the military, is one of the worst things we could do. the high-ranking military official on the other day said as much.
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obama is for homosexuals, abortion, and as far as iran, they are as big a liar as obama is. downsizing ofbout the military, sequestration cuts have a major impact on the pentagon's is budget. how much is sequestration going to be a part of the obama legacy? >> it will be a big hard in part because there was not as much of a fight to restore it, to restore that 10% across-the- board cut, as many democrats would've liked. even the proposals obama has suggested to replace and get out of the fiscal crisis and the shutdown earlier this year, do not replace the sequester. they knowledge to a feed on that. it is big across-the-board cut. republicans at first were hesitant to allow it.
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they championed it. it will be a big part. barbara's comments or one of the reasons why the white house was concerned. in terms of the affordable care act and the incompetent way it was rolled out, it very much feeds into the perception that obama's his critics believe, which is this is an incompetent president who does not really know how to design policy and is very ideologically driven. what obama would've liked more than anything is to have a smooth and successful rollout of this massive piece of legislation. more should have been attention paid to it according to white house officials now and the president himself. it is something he should've gotten right because it undermines his overall argument that the government can do good things and be competent and help
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people. not many people are seeing it that way. >> on the issue of whether somebody might be followed -- and individual rights in on twitter, sibelius -- on the subject of the affordable care act, you recently wrote the white house has a problem of consistency with message on this subject. explain. >> right from the start, even in selling it, the president has ofked about the importance health care reform, health insurance reform, in a number of ways. it was very much an economic message. you talked about ending the cost budgetreducing long-term deficits in this country by bringing down the cost of medicare, and then it became about peoplesage
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in this very wealthy country deserve health insurance. it should be a right. the message is confusing for people. what is this about? is it about the economy? is it about morality in this country and the valid -- values of this country? the problem with messaging came to ahead with, do you want to keep your plan? you recall he began the formulation by saying, if you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor. that quickly turned out to not be the case and obama dropped it ready quickly and went to plan. it is a confusing law. when messaging is mixed and and not entirely credible, it really undermines the president posses ability to say, trust us on this. on --dennis is waiting
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from new mexico honor independent line. good morning, gentlemen. are you dealing with the attack? from the callers. all he is trying to do is answer some questions. you brought up a point earlier that to get on obama's his itside, it almost makes sound like people inside the white house, not -- the left hand is not towing the right- hand what is going on. is this your perception or what is actually going on? it is actually what is going on and it many administrations, it is hard to tell the president bad news. the previous administration had this problem and this one has it. more, and het told is asking these questions will
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as well, more about the problems evident in the run-up to the rollout, is something he will have to figure out. it is important to understand what he was focusing on during this last six months, also. he had the government shutdown. , a debt ceiling negotiation to worry about. the nsa disclosures were a big distraction. and whether or not there would be an intervention in syria to consider. any negotiations with iran taking place. he had a lot going on. presidents do and that is not necessarily an excuse but it is a matter of priority and message the president sends inside his administration, how much he wants to know about a certain issue. hes one, it does not seem wanted to know as much as he now would have liked to have known. >> in the last minute here, i
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want to ask you about recent reports the president is considering sticking around washington dc after the end of his term. what do you think that will do to his legacy? interesting ifbe they decide to do that. he suggested this last week they would stay to allow sasha to finish high school here, about 2.5 years after he leaves the white house area -- house. it is something many working parents think about, what is best for their kids. it is difficult for presidents to stick around washington. only one has done it, and that was woodrow wilson. he did it because he was suffering the consequences of a stroke. part of the arena still. he will be asked almost every day about issues facing this country. theadministration following next, usually blames its predecessor for problems. obama is no different. he will be in town to answer those acquisitions --
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accusations. i am not sure it will be something the family really wants to be apart of. it is not bad to get away from washington what -- once you are through. oryou can see his work follow him on twitter. i appreciate you joining us this morning. up next, we will continue the discussion on the affordable care act with health care reporter emily etheridge -- ethridge. update from c-ws span radio. >> it is 8:32 a.m. eastern time. international news now on syria from the united nations. human rights chief says there is massive evidence of war crimes and crimes against humanity in syria that template the highest level of government, including president assad. they went on to say the united nations, the panel is
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investigating abuses in syria's civil war. she added she will keep list of suspected criminals under lock and sealed until requested by appropriate authorities. same-sex marriages official in hawaii this morning. shortlyles tied the not after midnight local time when the law took effect. massort is hosting ceremonies for anyone wanting to sign up. allowed to register for a license and be married the same day. this tweet from the washington times, former republican senator bob smith of new hampshire announced he is planning to run for the seat now held by the democratic senator in 2014. bob smith served in both the house of representatives from 1985 to 1990 and the united eight senate from 1990 to 2003 but he lost the gop primary in 2002. these are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio.
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if you are a middle school or high school student, c-span's video competition wants to know what the most in for an issue congress should address next year. make a five-minute video and be sure to include -- $100,000 in total prizes. get more info at student cam.org. bring public affairs events from washington directly to you, putting you in the room at congressional hearings, white house events, briefings and conferences, and offering complete gavel-to-gavel coverage of the u.s. house, all as a public service of private industry. industry 34able tv years ago and funded by your local cable or satellite provider. now, you can watch us in hd. >>/in journal continues.
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for a closer look at the future of the affordable care act, we turn now to emily ethri dge. let's start with yesterday posses press briefing on fixing the federal insurance exchange website. what was your take away from the briefing? >> the department of health and human services says, pretty much, they give themselves a passing grade. they think they hit their deadline for making the website work for most people by november 30, this past weekend. they say they did a whole management overhaul and the site is up and running more than 90 cent of the time, up from about three percent of the i'm in october. it is a huge dump for them. they say the response time is less than a second. the error rate has gone down. if you like they have addressed a lot of the big issues with the website in terms of the consumer experience. host: we read this editorial from the wall street journal today.
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obamacare mission accomplished. i will not go it -- go through it again for our viewers. this briefing, did you get that sense? it was not, because they get a huge emphasis on, we still have a lot of work to do, this is by no means a perfect system, we have got it to where we wanted, but there are still a lot of things that need to be fixed. this is still an ongoing process to make this thing work better and better. they still it knowledge there are a lot of parts of the website they need to continue to work on. saying, yes, we did it, everything is great, and we will take off now. what is the measure success to look at? guest: insurance companies, are they getting the accurate information they need in order to enroll people and give them their coverage, receive the
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payments from those getting subsidies, and that will be -- starting january 1, how many people will actually have insurance under this law, how may people are successful going to the doctor and paying the bills, insurance companies getting copayments and all of those things. we need to see it working in real life. >> the issue of how insurance companies themselves will use this, the subject of several stories today. here is one from the new york times as long -- as well as graphics. bit about whate insurers are actually saying about how they're using the site. >> insurers are saying at the back end of the site, where insurers see, when people in role, how much those people over owe. is there a government subsidy, the actual registry of people enrolled, and the separate insurance plans. people are now saying, i have
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been enrolled in the plan. the consumer things that successfully been enrolled. the insurance company is not always getting the information. the insurance companies as we have no record of you actually having been enrolled here they say right now that is manageable, but if there is a ,ig spike in enrollment numbers as expected in january and march, that could be a bigger and bigger problem for insurance companies. they are really concerned about that right now. class we are talking to emily idge about the affordable care act are the announcements on the white house saying they met their goals for functionality of the website that the vast majority of folks can use the healthcare.gov website. if you have questions or comments, give us a call. phone minds are open. --
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as folks are calling in, news from last week on the supreme court taking up cases that have to do with pieces of the affordable care act, what are the biggest cases we're looking at? >> the big one we will see the supreme court take up his this case of dealing with atther for-profit companies no cost to their employees or the law requires that. it requires insurance plans to offer no charge contraception. religious extensions get an exception. .t creates a workaround but there are for-profit companies saying they should get the exemption as well because of their religious believes. the main one is hobby lobby where they brought this case. we expect the supreme court to take up and will on next year. thing that hasa attracted a lot of attention in congress. class the timeline for this,
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oral arguments likely in march. what is the white house response to the supreme court taking up these cases? guest: it ministration asked the courts to take this up and let's have it through -- let's have it resolved so we can go ahead and roll out the law the way we expect. they say they believe they will win in this case. they want this resolved because it has been going on for many years. >> calls on this subject are coming in. worth, texas,ort on the line for democrats. >> my comment, question, -- >> go ahead. caller: my comment and question has -- has hadnt three years to get the straight.
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i voted for the president twice. i never liked obamacare. i fought for them because i trusted him. he had three years to get it straight. nobody told it was that. .ow, we wait for mediocrity i heard rick santorum went on talk shows yesterday and say going for payment and registration is still not working properly. to get ae 90 days straight, it will take 90 days. just get it straight. tell us when exactly it will be fully functional. the law. we do not have a choice about this. let us deal with it. instead of trying to appease half of us. emily, the president
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announced yesterday the website is working for the vast majority of people who use it very is there some target date set for when it will fully be functional? >> they never really said when it be fully functional for everybody in all aspects of the site. they obviously expect it to happen by march or the end of march, because that is when you must enrolled in order to not have the penalty for not having insurance, by the end of march 2014. we have seen things change and deadlines move, especially in the last couple of months. it may be moved again. whene not sure quite yet there will ever be that, everything is good now and there will not be more problems. >> the caller brought up some of the comments on the sunday show yesterday. on meet the was press on sunday. he criticized the obamacare websites security functions. i want to play you a bit of that clip now and get your comments.
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not.mpletely well overstated. they have made progress and brought in private sector folks to try to get the functionality up. it still does not function right. he believedo said if they had the ability to get up to 80% functionality, that would be a good day for them. the functionality is right, but here is the most important part of this discussion no one talks about. the security of the site and the private information does not meet even the minimal standards of the private sector. that concerns me. i do not care if you are for or against it, republican or democrat, we should not tolerate the sheer level of incompetence securing this site. remember how much personal information is not only there, but all of the sites the hub accesses would expose americans personal information in a way rest taking week that. >> explain some of the security
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issues the congressman was talking about in that issue. >> this is a big concern for him because his crown is intact. he has been bringing this a lot with hearings. the one part of the site the administration said worked --lly well is this data held hub.-- data that security has not been a problem. there have not been successful hacking attempts. there have been tries they said they stopped and prevented. they have really emphasize the onlyistration that this transmits information. it does not store any personal information. it is not kept in a database that has been hacked. it just sends it along from one place to another, and then it is gone. it does not stay there. they said with all the problems they have had, that is the one
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part that is not had any problems and has worked as it should hear it even though republicans are really quite interested in that issue. >> with interviews like that and the concern out there, is the white house doing enough to show it is concerned about these security issues? lori from indianapolis, indiana, writes is an e-mail -- guest: absolutely. one of the problem the administration is having right now is they tend to respond when asked a question about it. i think people might be more assured if they came out without being asked first and said, here's what we're doing and here is our system and here is all the privacy that would get contractors to come up and say, this is why we get sick there if you go on amazon.com or use i'm -- online banking. we have similar policies in place. that is what they say, but only
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after being questioned by people like congressman rogers. class a health-care reporter for cq roll call. have you always covered health care issues? >> pretty much. i started in march 2010 right after a law was signed. i have been covering it ever since. host: you can follow her on .witter and see her work a few callers are waiting to ask you questions and offer their comments. jackie is up first. good morning. you're on with emily ethridge. caller: good morning. a couple of questions. i watched the hearings when they brought sibelius before the pretty important questions like, why was this not working and why were they not more prepared. am i to understand they did go outside the united states to hire the
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web older for this, and if they did, why? if it does turn out these people are incompetent and breached contract or anything like that, they will be dealing with foreign laws. why, with all the intelligent america, ifve in they did in fact go outside our country to do this, why could they not have used somebody in the united states? there are several contractors working on this project. almost all of them are us-based. ties is one that has some and might be headquartered in england. all of their actual offices and managers and employees are all there in the united states facilities, especially the midwest. if you do not enroll online or in a call center, you enroll
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through paper and then get to these circle contractors who enter into the exchanges and get you enroll that way. it is mostly all-american base contractors. is a good point about what happens if these contractors are not held responsible, if the administration says some of the problems were from the contractors, how does that work out? so far, they decided they have confidence and used them as part of the process to make the website better. one qs as i inut charge of managing the other contractors throughout this improvement process. we have seen nothing but confidence in the contractors from the u.s. administration. spent to much was build a website? guest: they have not spent more than what was in the contract. some of the contractors earlier this year to that they need a lot more money to make this function the way they said it
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would. they almost asked for doubling in some cases of current contractor funds. the administration was not entirely thrilled with the request at the time. a comment on twitter -- there is no's prediction -- we have got about 20 minutes left with emily ethridge. barry from florida on our lines with republicans. caller: my question is the administration has bragged about the one provision of the law that it allows children or young
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people to stay on their parents medical plan until the age of 26 and 27. something like that. i have two questions on that. doesn't that really benefit only the upper-middle-class, the people who have the kinds of jobs that will allow them to bring children into their plan? is that successful? the administration has divided no did i know up. successful, does that not undercut the other part of the plan that aid the young people to contribute on the exchanges in order to support older and sicker people? i would like to hear your comments on that. thank you. good point.is a they do need to have the balance of younger and healthier people who do not need as many healthcare services, as long death as well as the older people who might need more, in order for there to be a good risk balance.
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that is a big concern. i think with the administration, they really wanted, maybe if you are a young adult under 26, you have insurance under your parent plan and then you turned 27 and do not have insurance anymore, you have been used to having insurance, u.s. in the benefits, and that might prompt you to get a plan. a person under 30 in the exchanges can buy catastrophic gives you the basic services, emergency room coverage, for a lower cost. you get fewer services covered, but at a more affordable rate. they are trying to make this work so young people do enter the marketplaces and get the insurance coverage and really make the benefit work for them. >> on twitter -- is that something you can speak to? >> it is true in a lot of the states, especially those
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running their own exchanges, there is a huge difference between what the cost of the plan is in mississippi, versus a plan in kentucky. are federallyese run exchanges, each state has its own plans. insurance plans are only sold within that state. there can be big differences. you can get the exact same plan at the exact same coverage at the same prices depending on where you live. >> those health-care exchanges, there are 17 state-based exchanges, 27 states are defaulting to the federal areanges and then there seven partnership exchanges out there. since you bring up the subject of the state run exchanges, talk about the roman numbers of the states versus the federal exchange. >> so far, the states running their own exchanges have been doing much better than the federal exchange. we might see that change now that the administration has said
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it is fixed a lot of the problems with the federal exchange. almost aes have been complete failure so far. oregon has, i think, not signed up anybody almost, which is very surprising. in states like california and kentucky and new york, they are going very well. they have reported huge success. they are getting the numbers they expected. people are saying it is easy to use. that is really helping the administration. they hope the states doing not so well were learned lessons from the states doing well. >> what are the problems in a state like oregon? what is keeping them from succeeding? >> we all wish they knew. a lot of it is just the website. you are just not being able to enroll and use the website and compare plans. , whether -- reason whether it is a technological glitch or something else, the website just is not working. they are telling people ok, use call centers, but at some point, the data still has to be entered into the online system by
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somebody. if your system is not working to get that added, it will be a rocky road ahead. >> let's go to duane from new york on our line for democrats. you are on with emily. good morning. i want to make a comment that i feel like it took us 70 years to get to this point in time in terms of health care coverage for everyone. i feel like we are nitpicking the aca a part in 30 days. my question is, where was all of this impatience rider to two years ago or three years ago, whatever, when we did not have any of what we have presently? i feel like the pundits and media types, they are looking at it in a minimalist way. i do not feel like they are looking at the laws -- the effort here in terms of getting health care. i feel like we are just
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nitpicking and ignoring the basically, --hat i'm sorry, we are just losing the larger idea of what is trying to take waste. -- waste. -- take place. this is a huge piece of legislation. a major change. a lot of benefits will come out from it. republicans who say there are all these problems with the web rollout, we need to repeal it, what would you like to do instead to make it up to the people who will now be getting health care coverage and lucid if you got rid of the law? they are trying to say, this is more than a website. you have heard a lot of democrats say that. it is a big law. let's step back and look at the bigger picture and get the problems fixed some people can get the benefits. that is what you're hearing from democrats a lot right now.
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>> is a headline from today's washington post. -- members of congress running on the health care law and 2014, do you think democrats will be running on this law, or do you think it will be more republicans running on some of the problems we have seen in recent months? >> we know republicans will be running on these problems big-time. it has been interesting to watch the senate democrats, particularly the ones up for reelection in 2014. a lot of those are in vulnerable seats. they have been supporting the law but also bringing up their own suggestions and fixes and things we should do instead to make us run better. there has been a whole series of bills from senate democrats up in 2014 saying, keep the law, the let's change this one part. extend the open enrollment time. let's make it easier for insurance brokers to enroll people themselves. while they are still supporting the law and its foundation, then
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they can go to constituents and say, i try to make this work at her and held the administration better and try to make the law work for you and make it easier for you. that is where we are seeing the democrats move in in terms of campaigning. in october, once we really became aware of how big the problems were, the administration, the white house, had all of this senate democrats up for reelection in 2014 over in a big meeting at the white house with obama and vice president biden to tell them, ok, it will be ok. here is how we go through this. and to hear their problems and say, how can we make this better for you? color --e is a role roll call story from last week -- noting a group of seven democrats are calling on president obama to appoint an official to oversee the ongoing repairs of the beleaguered federal health care website. jeffrey's roll over the past month and a half, talk a little and if he will
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actually be replaced by the white house. came into takeover and managed this whole project once we became aware of the website robbins. ofis really the ringleader all of the fixes and things that needed to be changed on the website. is going to move to a different position. we are not sure exactly when. he is scheduled to take over in january. the white house says they will replace them and we are not sure when he will be replaced or with, and the democrats, i think , led by a democrat from new hampshire, have asked, we want a long-term, permanent person in the position. ande know who's accountable are not constantly changing leadership. that could end up with bad management. that was one of the biggest problem with the website, poor communication. no one really in charge of this. he was put in as the man in charge. we now need to know who the next
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man in charge will be. emilywe are talking with ethridge. our independence line, thank you for calling. caller: thank you for taking my call. i would like to say medicare has been around for approximately 50 years. it started out to be a great program for the american people. as time went by, the federal government would hack it here and hackett there, and before we know it, there is nothing in that for the people who have paid their whole lives into. now they are coming up with this obamacare and obamacare will be just like medicare, where no doctors and hospitals want this health insurance because the federal government will not pay the bills for these elderly people. for example, my father was in the hospital with pneumonia. my dad was on his deathbed. they came in three days later, and medicare said they would not pay another penny for my dad to get them out of the hospital.
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they came in and told my dad, he has to pack his stuff and get out. i had to bring my dad home. anderson back to help -- health. and be justome in like that. people in the country will be in sick, and the federal government will not pay for this hospitalization. these people will be out sick because they will not pay the bills. medicaid does expand for some people but for some it will be private insurance plans. sure thatare, i'm medicare when it was created in the 1960s, we had the baby boom generation, and all of a sudden they are medicare-eligible. for more people on medicare, and that has,
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contributed to some different factors. medical experts say that medicare looks like an insurance plan from the 1960s. the private insurance plans are updated and changed, change the policies to reflect the current population could medicare hasn't been able to do that yet. one of the keys for the health- care law is candidate up to the times? -- can it adapt to the times, kennedy modernized as the population changes in health care needs change in the country? michigan, on our live for republicans. thanks for calling "washington have beencaller: i studying the fundamentals of america the last several years. lenin,line is, vladimir soviet dictator, said that the keystone to socialism is universal or centralized health care, and basically, controlled
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health care, you controlled individual. i am not going to comply with anything that is president or anything that is socialized or anything -- socialized banking, socialized health care, anything that this president puts out. the bottom line is socialism. host: are you planning not to enroll -- caller: i am not going to comply to anything, to this health care at all. i am not going to buy into .nything, any of their products don't buy into a product that i don't like could i do not like this product. i will not comply. host: emily ethridge, for those who may not comply, explained the step up process in terms of the fines that folks are going to have to pay if they choose to take that path. guest: if you choose not to have insurance or coverage, for 2014 not having coverage is $95.
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the fee increases every year for .he next several years by the end, you could be looking at a $600 fee per year. some people say that that is less than the cost of my insurance plan. i would rather pay the penalty and not have insurance for whatever reason because maybe it costs less. there is concern that young people might make that choice, especially, and not make changes because of that, financial reasons. democrats in support of the law would say you might be paying more for insurance but at least you are getting insurance, whereas a debate about the, you don't have any insurance. whereas if you pay the penalty, you don't have any insurance. host: billy, maryland, line for democrats. caller: after all this negativity, i have a very positive story. i work for very bad committee and i had my health insurance, i just couldn't work for them anymore. cobra was too expensive. after the cobra period, i basically try to buy a sick
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insurance -- by basic insurance because i have a pre-existing condition. there was only one company i could apply for. i applied for the company -- actually, the main company -- and they turned me down because of pre-existing condition. they put me in a company, an insurance company or carrier -- they covered everything but my pre-existing conditions. i live in maryland but i work in tc -- in d.c. basically, i went onto the change, and the company that had cobra was one of my options, and i applied successfully and received my insurance coming quitting my pre-existing condition, -- including my pre- existing condition, for less than half of cobra, and that company can't turn me down and now because of president obama and the afford will care act. basical -- the affordable care act. basically, you have a lot of
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people ranting and raving about how bad things are, but this is going to be a boom. this is going to be an excitement in terms of people starting their own businesses, getting away from companies that don't treat them right. they can be opportunists and have visions of success for themselves. kudos to president obama, kudos to all those who supported the affordable care act. it is going to get better, and basically, he will go down as a great president. marylandfrom bowie, talking about his extremes. -- his experience. host: could you help explain that? guest: the big picture is that with more people getting insured, more people entering into this insurance marketplace, we are going to have a better balance as a country in terms of our health care costs.
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right now there is a tendency to think that we don't pay for the uninsured when they go to the hospital. the hospital covers that, or someone else covers that. but really, we pay for that and terms of higher costs for health care services and higher tax dollars should we pay for those uninsured people when they need health care services, which everybody does at some point in time to the idea behind this economically is that we are going to get everybody in this pool, everybody by in, and that will redistribute all the costs across much bigger pool of people and that is going to help people find savings. they will go to the doctor earlier. they will end up in the emergency room because they will get preventive care. they will see a doctor to treat her condition and treated when it is cheaper. that is the idea that the when theytion had
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said it would lower costs but it will be over time in over a very long period of time. host: i want to turn to the subject that is given the white house a lot of grief. "if you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan," and the cancellation of plans in recent months. i went to get the latest on the president's efforts to reinstate the health care plans that were canceled. where is the white house on them? guest: the white house said that states and insurance commissioners can choose to let those plans be extended or not. insurance committees can choose to extend those plans or not. it is not the administration's decision anymore. they kind of punted that. some states have agreed and are letting plans that would've been canceled continue on for next year. even in the states where the plants will continue, it is only
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for one more year. if you have your plan canceled and now in stated, it you will be in the same position this time next year where your plan will be canceled again and you will have to figure out when -- figure out another option for your health care. it is a temporary fix for the situation, and if you are in a state that is not allowing the plans to continue, like in california, your plan is going to get canceled. host: what is the national association of insurance commissioners? guest: every state has its own insurance commissioner, and they oversee the insurance plans that are allowed to be sold in every state. each state has its own set of requirements that an insurance company must meet. they might have minimum benefits. not regulate -- ok, you are offering enough coverage. your costs are too high. whenever it is, they regulate each insurance company within their particular state. ben nelsonr senator
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of nebraska, former democratic senator, is the ceo of that group. "newsmakers"pan's program yesterday talking about this decision of -- allowing folks to keep their plan. [video clip] >> the latest information on whether not the states will go with the president's reclamation or the suggestion, i think 17 states as of right now have decided to do this or the industry -- working with the industry to go ahead and extend the renewals and not cancel the policies. 18 states have not decided to go with that recommendation. it is about 1/3, 1/3, 1/3. those that have not decided are, in some instances, still looking to do whatever they think they
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can under the law. it isn't surprising that there are different approaches when you have a state-based system. host: that was former senator ben nelson on our "newsmakers those quote program yesterday. if you want to see the full interview, go to our website, cspan.org, to watch it there. iily ethridge of "roll call," want to get your thoughts on ben nelson's statements in that interview. guest: it is very confusing good when the administration made the announcement a few weeks ago, it is hard if you allowed the plans to continue -- they thought they were going to cancel because they have not set the rates for .ext year and scrabbling in the last 6 weeks of 20 13 to set the rates and have the commissioners accepted and approved them to continue next year -- it is cramming all his work at the end of the year so that they can be fulfilled in 2014 and that is
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licensed as a saying no thanks. even some insurance companies say that is right too much work. we usually have a whole year to do this and now you are saying to do this in 6 weeks. host: a few more calls with emily ethridge of "cq roll call." mark on our line for independents. caller: good morning, emily, good morning, c-span, good morning, america. the question is about the future of health care, what people think. it is called the bailing out of health insurance plans. that is what i see in the future. the same people that pulled off the bank bailout are now doing it with health insurance plans. they have already pulled off the $500 million heist, which is when the president signed the health care bill three years ago. they placed over 4 million onple on plans, and then
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october 31, they were given the permission to cancel all them plans and they got away with over $500 million. your emily ethridge, thoughts on how that worked? guest: people on these so called the jump plans made plans that didn't really cover all the necessary services. that happens in the individual market every year. before the law, after the law, since the law. people turned over in the plants quite a bit. the average you would stay on one of those plans is a year. because you found a better plan, it did not cover what you needed -- that churn in the individual market has always been going on. that is where the cancellation of those plans come from. host: john is up next from sarasota, florida, on our line for republicans. caller: good morning. glad to get through.
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first of all, it is an oxymoron. there is nothing affordable about the affordable care act. killcare is going to help the democrats next november. the democrats are in trouble in the senate because of the background check 2 years ago, a year and a half ago. now with obamacare they are definitely having trouble. obamacare has helped to kill the democrats when you from now. there's nothing affordable about the affordable care act -- are you looking for insurance through the site? caller: i never attended to because i don't like it and i'm not going to buy something that's rotten. it is rotten to the core. buyuld invi -- i wouldn't rotten produce at the supermarket and this is no different. host: rose in pennsylvania on our line for democrats. rose, good morning. caller: hello? host: hi, rose. caller: well, good morning.
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i have a question. i am computer stupid so might daughter is trying to help me. for the past couple weeks we have run into a screen -- we did get a little bit further ahead than from october. umberve us an error id n and told us to call one 800 -- 1-8-00-healthcare. she told a there was nothing they could do about it and she would take my application over the phone or i could try it again. we tried it again yesterday. the same screen came up. i called and got disconnected twice. my question is, is there anybody higher up who is doing any of these applications that can actually get in there and at least let us know where the error is? it will let us go back and review the application but it won't let us edit anything.
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i can't move forward. guest: a lot of people who are running into these problems are going to the call center or working directly with the navigator or an in person assistant is what they are called, depending on what state they are in and whether it is a state- or federal-run marketplace could they can take your information down and enter it online or and. online themselves. there are calls to give those people their own direct pathway away from everybody else to speed their entryway through. there is also secretary civilians of the -- cemetery -- secretary sebelius says that if you are having to do with the website that might happen but try the off-peak hours. try it on the weekends. that is when there is less volume, there should be fewer problems just because of that. find an inthat,
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person assistant, find a navigator, or just keep at it, and that is as much as you can do for now. host: row and others -- rose and others who are having a situation like rose can read kathleen sebelius' suggestion in an opinion piece that appears today in "usa today." the health and human services secretary lays out some of the options for folks who are having trouble. that will do it for this segment of the "washington journal." i want to thank emily ethridge for joining us. emily ethridge is on twitter, @cqrcemily. thanks so much. guest: thank you. host: up next in our weekly "your money" segment, we will turn to a key federal whistleblower law. but first, a news update from c- span radio. >> it is 9:16 a.m. eastern. the federal authorities have
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begun their investigation into yesterday's new york city commuter train crash that killed 4 people and injured more than 60 others. the national transportation safety board says investigators would spend up to 10 days looking at all aspects of the accident that turned over 7 cars and a locomotive. way, wasotive, by the right this morning. "the hill" writes that the house could act in a flurry of by partisan deals or it could head home for the holidays and beheaded. negotiators tried to finish conference reports on the budget am -- head home for the holidays empty-handed. negotiators try to finish conference reports on the budget. a likely scenario is 1 or 2 of them will be kicked over into the next new year. epa administrator gina mccarthy is making china her first international destination as agency head. she leaves saturday on an eight- day trip to beijing, shanghai,
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and hong kong. she previous omissions to china this morning. that she previous your message to china this money. a.m.l begins at 10:30 eastern time. those are the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> social media is a very old idea. we think it is recent, but what i am arguing is that there is a long and rich tradition of social media that goes act to the era of cicero, the late roman republic, first century bc. the point is that you don't need a digital network to do social media. if you have what it goes faster but you could do it in the old days. cicero did it with papyrus rolls and messengers and other members romans who were all linked to him and spoke to each other and it was very much a social environment. there are many other examples throughout history -- martin luther in his use of pamphlets, the court of anne boleyn, thomas payne and his pamphlet "common
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sense." and the way that pamphlets were used more broadly in the run-up to the american and french revolution. >> the first 2000 years of social media, tonight on "the communicators," 8:00 eastern on c-span2. >> "washington journal" continues. host: each week in this segment of "washington journal" we look at how your money is at work in the federal government, and this week rather than looking at a specific program we will be looking at a federal law, specifically the false claims act, which was passed by congress 150 years ago this year. to help do that we are joined by colette matzzie, an attorney with phillips and: here in washington, who has represented whistleblowers under the false claims act. we appreciate you joining us. we probably should start by explaining the history of this law. take us back to the time of the civil war and why this act was put in place. guest: sure.
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well, thank you, thank you for having me on. the false claims act was enacted in 1863 at the height of the civil war as a measure to address widespread war profiteering. at the time, the union army was facing a situation where they were being sold guns that didn't shoot, horses and mules that were in firm, shoddy uniforms that would literally fall apart in the rain. as part of the war effort in early 1863, the congress passed this act, the false claims act, with strong support from the president, president abraham lincoln. for that reason the statute is often called lincoln's law. the original text of the statute remains very similar to how it is today, because the false claims act prohibits those from knowingly summoning or causing to be committed false claims, false or fraudulent claims for payment of the government, and makes them liable for damages in civil
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penalties. in addition, starting from its origin in 1863, the false claims act has included a unique mechanism, and the concept is literally from an old latin term , "he who sues on behalf of the ."ng and on behalf of himself essentially, it allows citizens to bring suit on behalf of the government to recoup money stolen from the government. host: how revolutionary of an idea was this in the time of the toil war to allow a citizen sort of change the notion of legal standing and allow a citizen to sue even though it is the government that is being injured by some of these false claims? guest: welcome actually, they historical antecedent from english common law in the early part of the
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colonies and some of the first hadresses and republics smaller statutes where they would allow individuals to collect that money taken in different ways. concept ofidates the the individual recouping money from the government under assignment terry. years later, in 2000, after the statute had been significantly amended in 1986. the supreme court looked at the constitutionality of the question, does the individual have standing to collect the money back for the united states? they found yes, they have article three standing because of the assignment of the united states interest in recruiting damage to the end -- recouping damage to the individual. in 1863 could recoup up to half the proceeds for himself as well as for the united states. the percentages have changed over time. host: before we move through time to see how the law applies today, i want to point out that this is an old "harper's new
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monthly" magazine piece talking about the fraud that was going on at that time. the headline from that piece in a.d. 64 is "the fortunes of war --how they are made and spent." it talks about the fraud and contract mismanagement. i want to read a little bit from it. "it was notnly -- only the contracts for clothing but every other supply of government paying for substance was mocked by the shadow good for sugar, it often got sand good for letter, something no better than brown paper. muskets andble pistols, the experimental failures of san went --sanguine inventors or the refuse of shops and foreign armories. host: back in 1863, when this
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law gets passed, how often was used until the end of the civil war? guest: it was an important element of, you know, bringing the war effort, allowing unions to prevail. what we do know is that after the civil war, it was fairly limited use of the statute, in part because there wasn't a lot of federal spending. cases involving fraud and postal rate subsidies. in 1943, congress actually significantly weakened the it had, and then after been weakened, it fell into disuse until 1988, where it was significantly revised and substantially amended to make it much more effective. host: we are talking to colette matzzie, an attorney in washington dc.
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we are talking about the false claims act throughout history and how it is being applied today. if you have questions or comments on the subject, our phone lines are open. host: colette matzzie, let's take it to today. sees fraud and the contracting organization that is working with the government. how would they bring one of these suits and what is in it for them when they do? guest: our typical client is often an insider. often a very large company that contracts with the government, whether that be a fence contracting -- defense contracting or health care or other areas of federal spending.
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quite typically they will see a situation where the united states is being defrauded, and also they are quite concerned that individuals are being hurt. for example, in the defense context, we had a case last year --olving defective layers wases where the military purchasing flares for soldiers jumping out of helicopters to eliminate the surroundings. those flares were defective, they were not being tested properly, and in insider came forward, and what we do is we file a case after getting all the facts, file a case in federal court, and the case is initially filed under seal and served only under the united states any attorney general and the u.s. attorney's office, so that the united states cannot have the first crack at investigating the allegations.
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-- can have the first crack and invest getting the allegations. the united states is charged under the statute with the investigation and resources permitting will do a thorough investigation, look at the documents, issue subpoenas, sometimes have our clients wear wires or conduct other surveillance in a large force and capacity to determine whether or not those allegations can be corroborated. host: what's in it for somebody coming forward? guest: the individual gets 2 things. first, if the individual is -- theul, they are statute does provide protection against retaliation and compensation against retaliation because unfortunately, a number of our clients find that when they blow the whistle within the company, they often face demotion, sometimes lose their jobs, sometimes feel they just have to go work somewhere else. it does provide compensation to retaliation.
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host: if some of these cases that involve multimillion dollar judgments or settlements, the whistleblower can get over $1 million, millions of dollars in terms of this compensation. guest: the statute provides that it is based on percentage. from thecover billions united states, some whistleblowers have done, that is correct. the sharewood -- the share would typically be in the millions. host: explain the government taking a case for what a whistleblower files and the government declining to take the case forward but the whistleblower continuing to move ahead with these cases under the false claims act. guest: correct. after the investigation occurs, at some point the united states will make a decision on whether or not to intervene in the case. if the u.s. intervenes, it takes it over and files their own complaint as if it is their own case and will litigate. often there are settlements at that juncture. if the united states declines to
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intervene, one cannot construe that it means the case does not have merit. the u.s. declines for many reasons, including, unfortunately, lack of resources. the statute -- when cars passed the statute, it recognized that a significant number of cases would go forward without the united states. there are still significant recoveries. the bulk of recoveries are when the united states intervened, defendants are quicker to settle in this contexts. the individual will be able to receive a larger share of the take forwardfate and -- host: how successful is the government today in pursuing some of these false claim act cases? on twitter guest: no, it's not -- no.
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last year, the false claims act richard close to $5 billion to the united states, and of that, approximately $3.4 billion came in from qui tam cases. the number of cases filed continues to trend upward, and the united states will invest resources and in -- in investigating these cases. it is important to note that economists have found that for every dollar the united states invests, particularly in health care investigations, they get $20 back for the treasury. 1987, when all the changes were made to the false claims act, somewhere between $35 billion and $40 billion has been recovered through the false claims act cases. some of the top false claims act settlements to show you, glasses smith kline had $3 billion --
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glaxosmithkline had three good odds in criminal summons. pfizer, $2 billion. johnson & johnson, recent one, $2 billion. the johnson & johnson announcement came out just at the beginning of last month. talk a little bit about that case. aest: that case was actually number of cases put together, and johnson & johnson opted to seek a global settlement of all the claims. those cases involved a variety of illegal conduct by johnson & johnson in marketing of pharmaceutical, including offering kickbacks to doctors and fraudulent off-label marketing of drugs, including drugs that can be extremely dangerous when doctors prescribe where therecontext has not been any scientific evidence that they can be safe and effective. in that case, like the glaxoca e
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case, like the pfizer case a couple of years ago, it is quite large because the federal spending on these drugs has been quite large. it is an absolute bright line rule in medicare that you cannot provide kickbacks to doctors. and that the government will not that a defendant -- here the pharmaceutical company -- causes to be committed that is tainted by a kickback or other illegal conduct. host: do any of the penalties go to some of the folks who may be victims, say, of one of these medical cases that you are talking about? the victims of the false marketing and that sort of thing? or do the penalties just go back to the government and the whistleblowers themselves? guest: with few exceptions, in the mortgage context, typically no.
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the money goes to the united states. however, there is substantial opportunity for individuals who have been harmed by pharmaceutical committees or unnecessary medical procedures to bring their own cases under state law. thinking about unnecessary , the smallerdures dollar value, a case and marilyn involves unnecessary medical procedures being performed by an interventional cardiologist at a hospital in maryland. thehospital ended up paying united states back approximately llion, $22 million, both for the unnecessary procedures -- medicare would not have pay for them if they had known the truth -- and also for kickbacks. but at the same time, the government pursue the criminal action against the physician, and individuals were able to bring their own cases for -- under state law.
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host: if you callers -- a few callers calling it. from bondsfirst bill, massachusetts, on our life or repugnance. good morning. caller -- on our line for republicans. good money. caller: good morning. i have something that is very, very serious on whistleblowing. i want to know how to make a claim but -- without adding any more retaliation on something extremely serious. guest: well, we would recommend that you seek counsel. these cases do have to be brought with counsel. they are not cases that can be brought per se. caller: right. but how would i go about doing that? i am not particularly wealthy, but it is such a serious matter that it involves an unintentional death at the hands of the fbi -- not on purpose,
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but when they made a mistake, it caused the death of a young girl. and they lied about it and said it was a suicide. something, they deny -- it is such a serious matter to be dealt with. it is not on purpose -- i'm not saying it was on purpose could it was a horrible mistake, but they did not want to admit the mistake culpability-, liability-weiss. guest: it sounds like you have a very serious concerns. does not claims act reach allegations that the government itself has caused harms, particularly in civil rights-type cases. but where there is a private party that is alleged to have forgot the government, -- alleged to have ripped off the government, that is the false claims act. host: a few issues that the false claims act. i -- that the false claims act prohibits.
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host: that according to the justice department. we are talking to colette matzzie about the false claims act, some of its history, and some of its applications today. matthew is up next on our line for democrats. thanks for calling "washington journal." caller: i would like to ask about the whistleblower law. can it be used for the tarp and banks that are too big to fail and can it be used for iraq, afghanistan, and syria, the eu building that we did, and the $12 trillion deficit caused? guest: well, in that context, taking the war context first, there is -- you know, there have been more cases, there will continue to be more cases. it is likely there are cases
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under investigation. ae typical were case involves private defense contractor who has submitted a claim to the united states it are for billing for services not rendered, selling a helicopter that is defective, otherwise not performing services owed to the united states. as far as the banks, there has the some recent uses of false claims act in the context of mortgage fraud. there was a bank of america settlement of $1 billion. part of a larger settlement the united states reached with all the banks. that billion-dollar settlement was a false claims act case and was specifically having to do with mortgage fraud in the context in which there was federal insurance for the mortgages. host: what area are most false claims acts filed under? is it war spending, medical
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spending? what aspect of the economy? guest: there is a large --centage of our health care medicare, medicaid, tri-care. the only reason for that really is because we spend a lot on medicare, medicaid, tri-care. you do see large numbers in that area. our clients in these areas are sometimes doctors, nurses, they are billing people, they are accounting, accountants within hospitals. when they come to us, they are concerned about 2 things. they are concerned about the patients and the impact on the patients from fraud. of thehe integrity medicare and medicaid program, since we know that we need those programs to continue to survive and basically healthy. host: you have are presented whistleblowers for phillips & cohen under the false claims act law.
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how many cases have you been involved in involving the false claims act? guest: our firm has been involved with quite a few heading back many dozens. i'm not sure the exact number. that is a good question. one of our founders, john phillips, who is retired from the firm now, work in the early 1980s with a bipartisan group, senator grassley, charles grassley from iowa, and representative howard berman, then-democrat from california, to revive the statute and amend the false claims act in ways that guaranteed a share for leaders. after -- a share for relators. after it was passed and signed into law by president reagan, he started the firm and started bringing some of the first cases . some of the very earliest cases were brought against some of the large laboratories, clinical laboratories, and health care s, where it was a very
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simple fraud, where they were un bundling and billing for blood tests that would've included a number of components which you would normally submit. and were unbundling submitting invoices for numerous tests. there were significant early defense contractor cases brought. it took until the 1990s to start to really see the recovery, and from that you see a steady trend upward. substantial bipartisan support to this day because senator charles grassley is one of the chief champions of the statute. there is substantial democratic support as well. host: that is not to say there has been criticism out there of the false claims act. the chamber of commerce, one group that is very critical of the false claims act, in a actnt report says "the incentivize is fruitless
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lawsuits, generates litigation across the government lots of money to investigate and pursue. --r spots to those concerns your response to those concerns? guest: one thing you have to look at is that the chamber as members and many of those members are the industries that have tried to dismantle the false claims act. from 1987 -- the statue was passed in 1986, strengthened in 1986, and from 1987 they have thed to dismantle and gut statue. that is an important thing to bear in mind. another consideration, this is a public-private partnership, in the best sense of the word, the false claims act, because it allows -- the government is lacking in a 2 things in these cases. it is lacking information that our clients have from being inside, and it is lacking resources, which the relators can bring by hiring counsel. it allows the united states to extend its reach and find out
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about fraud that otherwise might not know about. you know him and you don't recover anything if the case is not successful. that is always an important consideration. chamber,go back to the isxing the false claims act" the report from the institute for legal reform. they said money and time would be better spent on the government on the front and preventing the fraud in the first place rather than on the back and investigating these cases on the legal side. your response to that? guest: there is nothing that prevents any of these countries from having robust internal compliance, internal audit programs could and number of programs require disclosure to the government and repayment of any money that has been rightfully received from the company. what out clients have found is that even when the programs are --place, they often become
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clients trust initially that if they just bring their concerns to the right people within the company, they will be addressed. they found that to be the case and several significant retaliation -- and suffered significant italian nation. -- suffered significant retaliation. if you want to talk about the false claims act with calling nancy, before -- with colleen maxey, the phone lines are open for you. host: we will go to brenda, calling in from tallahassee, florida, on our line for republicans. you are on with colette matzzie. caller: good morning. i would like to find out how we can file a claim against the people that did the obamacare and the aca.
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this has been the biggest scam that i've ever seen in government ever do on the american people. host: are you talking specifically the problems with the website and the monday that has been paid to contractors? -- the money that has been paid to contractors? caller: oh, exactly, and the bait and switch that obama has done to the market people. host: colleen matzzie, i will let you jump in. guest: the statue does allow you to address knowing submission of false and fraudulent claims to the united states, and certainly in the context of an information technology program that agency seeks to procure and if not , there are claims submitted for payment, that can be the classic example of the false claims act that you could pursue. we don't have enough information -- i don't have enough
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information to judge whether or not this would be appropriate case involving the website. context, that is the kind of case that could easily walk in our door. if there is somebody in one of these companies that saw something wrong, how many years did they have before they can file these cases? 6-year statute of limitations. it is advisable to come forward as soon as possible, including is much easier for the united states to investigate and interview witnesses and review documents sooner rather than later. that is helpful. at the same time, the united states can reach back and in a certain context, depending on the nature of the allegations, if you think you are aware of fraud, it is worth at least giving a consultation on whether or not there is a case. barbara is from rapid city, south dakota, on our line for independents.
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you are on with colette matzzie. caller: good morning, colette. i would like to ask a couple of questions about this whistleblower law and how it affects how it works. use ago i saw a special on abc about the policing -- years ago i saw a special on abc about the policing of america, and they talked about how a burden and now they had lied and cheated and yet they are still offered government contracts, even though it has been proven that they cheated and lied and got finds. the same thing with the boeing contract for the border. they set out a contract that said they would have the northern border and the southern border covered, be done in so many years. there have been cost overrides, all of this stuff. we have 800 miles of border, we are paying billions of dollars. isn't that a fraud, canterbury investigate that? -- can't we investigate that? guest: there have been a number
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of cases brought against halliburton, kbr, of the case against boeing, maybe not specifically on the border that i'm familiar with, but cases with the ohs defendants. -- with those defendants could there are number things you have to look at. there is a story with documents, sometimes with information. we have to look at the underlying contract, the underlying regulation, to see if we can say that the claims that were submitted were truly false, meaning that if the government had known about the underlying conduct, they would not have paid the claim, they are materially false to the .overnment's decision to pay you can still recover civil penalties, but you have to go through that analysis. for each of the cases, you have to look at that. there were some issues and how some the contracts were written, particularly in the early part of the iraq war, and to the extent that they allowed more
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wiggle room for defense contractors than one might like to see. there have been efforts to address that. the clarity of the terms in the contract and the regulation is very important for holding the contractors accountable. host: on twitter guest: i would say not. we get this a lot from our clients. the decision on whether or not to intervene in the case is a step decision within the justice department and it begins with reclamation's from career prosecutors -- recommendations from career prosecutors, who are there ofrough a number administrations, quite often. a number of the large cases that were settled recently -- the glaxo cases, the 3 billion- dollar one you cited and another
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one that involved hundreds of millions of dollars because of a bolt rated drugs that were being tedd -- because of adultera drugs that were being sold in the program -- those were filed andhe bush administration settled under the obama administration, and they were carried forward by brave and tenacious prosecutors who are civil servants, not political. it forow much harder is a whistleblower to win one of these cases if the government chooses that it is not to get involved? guest: it is more difficult, for sure. at the same time, the courts upheld consistently across the board that nothing is to be inferred from the united state'' decision to not intervene. in fact, we anticipate that unfortunately, because of the sequester cuts and other kinds of restrictions on government investigations, there will probably be more declamations. to the extent that you have a
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close working relationship with the justice department in those situations, the case is going andard by private counsel there talking to the department of justice and the agencies. you can have a very effective public-private partnership and significant recoveries, even in the hundreds of millions in dollars. host: folks on twitter want to know your website and where to go for more information on your group should guest. www.phillipsandcohen.com. i would also recommend the website for taxpayers against fraud, which is an organization that works to support and defend the false claims act, both on otherwise, and advocates for the statute. host: sean is up next from washington, iowa, on the line for republicans. you are on with let nancy --
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with colette matzzie. caller: thank you for taking my call. i work for the center of medicare and medicaid, general contractor for the last five years, the call-center that dicare, now-800-me the new health-care exchange. tensnally, in my opinion, of millions, if not billions of dollars in waste over the year. my question is, i have tried to bring this to the office of inspector general and the gsa contract. in the past, gsa has been in the news, as you are aware of. when you work under such a large contract -- this is probably the largest contract ever rewarded in united states history -- and personally witness a lot of potential fraud and waste the taxpayers, and there is a lot of
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political backing supporting this. i have an extremely difficult time bringing mr. anybody's attention -- bringing mr. anybody's attention, and i feel there is a much politics behind this that he keeps getting buried. guest: that is very concerning. you say you work for a private contractor that is administering cms' call lines. if so, if i understand you correctly, that is a classic situation where you may have information that could be very .aluable it is laudable that you could go to the office of inspector general in cms could you may want to obtain the consultation as far as whether a qui tam case would be appropriate are not. one thing that is important about the false claims act is that it allows you to go to the justice department. the justice department administers the false claims act.
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the agencies, while they are clients of the justice department, and the justice department will consult with them, they play an independent role in making sure that fraud is rooted out, even if there has been bottlenecks at some of the agencies. host: the source provision for filing a suit. guest: you have to understand the public disclosure provision in the false claims act. this goes back to 1986, where congress is concerned that they not have a plethora of cases, where somebody just reads about something in "the new york times" and files a case. congress included a provision where if your allegations are based on public disclosures in the news media or a federal government report, you cannot bring the case, unless you are an original source. you don't have to be an original source otherwise, but if there is public disclosure, you do in
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order to bring the case. an original source under the current definition is someone -- is either the source of the public disclosure, has gone to the justice department prior to the disclosure. can addcal insider information that is material in addition to what the government already has. host: a few minutes left with colette matzzie, an attorney with phillips & cohen. if you have questions or comments for her -- rochester, new york, on our line for republicans. steven, turn down your tv and go ahead with your comment or question. all right, we will hold onto stephen. we will go to louisiana on our line for democrats. lorenzo, good morning.
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caller: good morning. lorenzo,'re hearre, go ahead. caller: i want to ask about the clauses, supposedly monitoring contractors to make sure they are doing the job that they are supposed to do in their part -- and they are part of the government, i believe. what can be done so they won't mess with their supposed duties as far as protecting the the government and their interests? guest: contracting officers, quality organizations within medicare, i think that is what you are referring to. iny play an important role being the eyes and ears of the government looking for fraud. the government cannot do this by itself. that is why the statue has been so effective.
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acclaim cemented to the government on its face may look appropriate -- a claim submitted to the government on its face may look appropriate for payment. because the statute allows insiders who really have information that the claims are being submitted knowingly false to go to the government and let them know about that, that is what is so unique and special and works so well with the false claims act. are there statistics out there about the amount of fraud that is expected to be out there? the chamber talks about medicare fraud over the past decade, $600 billion. has the false claims act done enough to detect that much fraud has only if it recovered anywhere between $35 billion and $40 billion over the past couple of years? guest: we would agree with the
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chamber that there is more fraud that could be routed out. hopefully, some of it could be disclosed even without whistleblowers. but there has been consistent analyses, and there is one i am looking for right here about the investment made by the government in fighting medicare and medicaid fraud. both the return on investment and also the amount believed to have been deterred. when we're talking about $40 billion recovery, economists sketched out that there is probably a commencement amount that has been deterred, because of the knowledge. what you see for many of our know that their employers know about the false claims act. sometimes when they are in a knowing violation of it, they are aware that that is a good thing. the fact that they know that individual mayan
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be able to go to the justice department and report on these companies, which are multibillion dollar companies, many of them international corporations, that is a very powerful deterrent. host: david is up next for moran, ohio, on our line for democrats. caller: i want to ask about the role of inspectors general come and shouldn't they be involved early with the person who was the whistleblower, and will they be there if the amount of rewards for this whistleblowers would are -- weren't so astronomical? guest: when we bring these cases to the justice department, the first thing you do is have a meeting where you sit down with the justice department lawyers, but there are also offices of inspector general agents and lawyers present. they would be at hhs, dot, office of personnel management -- dod, office of personnel management. at times even, we have had agents who recommended to
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individuals that are whistleblowers that they should seek counsel as to whether or not a false claim in the case should be brought was because -- both because they understand that what they're relators go through is an arduous process. they make a multiyear contribution to recovering the money and will face difficulties in their own jobs and the compensation. the agents are very aware of the situations and the need for protection of the whistleblower. host: colette matzzie is an attorney with phillips & cohen here in washington, d.c. we appreciate you joining us to talk about the false claims act on this anniversary of it. that is our chauffeur today. we will see you right back here for the "washington journal" tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. on the east coast and 4:00 a.m. the civic. have a great day. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute]
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here in washington, the u.s. house returns at 2:00 eastern following their weeklong thanksgiving recess. they will take up a bill expanding the bill on the manufacturing and sale of firearms on find up detectors. later this week they will attempt to modify the dodd frank financial regulation law. you can see the house alive when they begin work today at 2:00 eastern. president obama working at the white house this afternoon. he will delivema